Honda stopped making the boxy behemoth the Element in 2011. Many drivers fell in love with this vehicle though for its roomy interior, dependability, and superior gas mileage. While you can still find some used Element vehicles, typically from the years 2005 to 2011, if you want a new vehicle, you need to choose a different SUV.
You might try the VW Golf, Jeep Renegade, or Subaru Forester to find a car similar to the Element. Each has a boxy style, drives well off-road and on the highway, and the Golf and Forester earn terrific gas mileage while the Jeep earns serviceable mileage.
The Honda Element
The Honda Element quit production in 2011 and the owners of these reliable vehicles drove the heck out of them to make them last. Some owners report hitting 320,000 miles and only then starting to shop for a replacement. At the car site Edmunds, 203 consumers reviewed the used Honda Element and only one individual gave it a bad review. So, what makes everyone love this vehicle so much?
In 2011, a new Honda Element cost $20,825 to $24,185, depending on the options and trim chosen. The boxy SUV earned 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. It seats four individuals and provides serviceable cargo space. With a 2.4-liter In-Line Four Cylinder engine capable of 166 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque, it doesn’t provide a towing beast, but you can certainly road trip in it. The 15.9-gallon fuel tank capacity contributed to this since it requires fewer fill-ups.
Of course, you could buy a used Element, but since people love them so much, they drove them more than 300,000 miles. You probably want a little less on the odometer so you can put similar miles on your vehicle. If you want to buy new, here are our choices for the vehicles, most like the Element, and some offer even better gas mileage.
2021 Volkswagen Golf
While it is a passenger car and the others on this list are SUVs, the boxy Volkswagen Golf provides a hatchback option with four doors and all the comforts of a sedan. The Golf earns the same type of great fuel economy as the Element. In fact, some models of the Golf earn 60 mpg. You get precise handling that doesn’t come with an SUV.
Choose the GTI trim for a sporty version that you might get tempted to drag race. Hurry though because the Golf sales in the US stop in 2021. You’ll spend about $23,195 for this flat-topped vehicle with room for five passengers. Besides the cargo room, you also get leg and headroom.
Enjoy an SUV-like 22.8 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seat, which folds down to provide 52.7 cubic feet of space.
2021 Jeep Renegade
Surprisingly, you can spend less than that and own a Jeep. The 2021 Renegade might not get 60 mpg, but you’ll only pay $22,830 for this subcompact SUV made for off-roading. Known for its boxy designs, Jeep added a few curves to the Renegade in a recent update.
Choose the Trailhawk trim to improve its off-road performance. While you might not expect it from an SUV, the Renegade offers one of the highest-quality infotainment systems in the auto industry. While the engine choices may underwhelm for towing, they do provide the power needed for rock crawling.
Choose from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 180-horsepower or a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 177-horsepower. You can seat up to five passengers and each will enjoy the needed leg and headroom. The Jeep option provides more cargo space than ore small SUVs with 18.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats.
When you fold them down, you open up 50.8 cubic feet.
2021 Subaru Forester
The final of the super-affordable Element-like vehicles, the compact crossover SUV, the Subaru Forester, provides a blend of boxy and curvy. Similar to the Jeep, it offers a small engine that puts out 182 horsepower. The all-wheel-drive and boxer engine with four horizontally opposed cylinders lets you off-road in this option from the designer of safe vehicles, Subaru.
Pair this with its well-appointed interior and top-of-the-line infotainment system, and you have a winner for only $24,795. You get a room for five adults to travel in style and immense cargo space – 31.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats. Fold down the rear seats and enjoy 76.1 cubic feet. That’s plenty of space for bicycles.
2021 Ford Bronco Sport
The rough and ready Ford Bronco Sport SUV sells for just $26,660. You might find it a bit boxier, but you can zoom off-road in this all-wheel-drive with multiple skid plates that help ensure you do not damage your vehicle’s undercarriage. Choose from a three- or four-cylinder turbocharged engine.
The four-cylinder produces 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. The back seat is on the small side and only children would probably fit in the seat comfortably. The tall vehicle affords a lot of headroom. You get normal cargo space for this vehicle class – 32.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 65.2 cubic feet with them down.
2021 Jeep Gladiator
If you want boxy and rectangular, choose the Jeep Gladiator. Envision, if you will, a four-door Jeep Wrangler, now add an open cargo bed as you would have on a pickup truck. The cargo bed provides plenty of room to haul bicycles or motorcycles. Like the other Jeep option in this article, you get a beast-mode infotainment system.
You can tow your boat with its powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine that creates 285 horsepower. You can opt for a 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine, too, that produces 250 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. You seat four adults comfortably in the Gladiator’s cabin. The cargo bed also lets you haul ample supplies for DIY projects. Lower the tailgate to turn its five-foot cargo bed into an eight-foot-long cargo hold.
You can haul sheets of plywood or hardy board without the boards hanging off of the tailgate. The height of the interior lets you pile it high on the sides. Enjoy off-roading even more with the doors and the top removed. You can fold down the windshield, too, for that bugs in your teeth experience. The Gladiator runs you $33,545.
2021 Land Rover Defender
The most expensive choice amongst our recommendations, the $46,100 Land Rover Defender, provides that boxy Jeep-ish body style that the Element added to and enhanced with height and cargo space. Its flat roof makes it easier to lash on the luggage. Choose the right powertrain for your needs and pick a two-door Defender 90 or four-door Defender 110.
You can easily drive off-road while remaining a stable ride. Two powerful engines get you where you need to go. Choose the four-cylinder, 296-horsepower turbocharged standard engine or the 395-horsepower turbo-six. You can seat five in the Defender and add a jump seat in the front row to seat six people.
You can add a third seat row to the four-door model Defender, so it seats seven passengers. The two-door option offers 15.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats but lowers the seat and enjoy 58.3 cubic feet.
The four-door provides even more space unless you opt for the third-row seats. Without that, you get 34 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, but a whopping 78.8 cubic feet when you fold them down. You lose the roominess with the third row installed. It reduces the cargo space to 10.7 cubic feet with all seatbacks upright.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Honda Element.
How much does a used Honda Element cost?
The average cost of this used vehicle is $8,237. If you want to find a vehicle of comparable cost, your starting point is about $8,000.
What makes the Honda Element a good car?
The Honda Element earned an average score of 4.5 out of 5 based on 203 Edmunds consumer reviews. Users say it drives well and lasts long. By conducting simple maintenance at Honda dealerships, many users have logged more than 300,000 trouble-free miles.
Where can you buy a new or used car like the Honda Element?
You can purchase these vehicles at dealerships in your local area or online from a dealership website like Carvana. You can also use the Carvana vending machines to purchase a car. You can also find some used Elements at some dealerships.
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